Data Focus

Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao: 55% of the funds remain unutilised

Radheshyam Jadhav Pune | Updated on January 12, 2021 Published on January 12, 2021

Scheme’s ‘laggard’ States tend to display lower sex ratio at birth

States across India have utilised just 45 per cent of the funds allocated under the government’s ambitious Beti Bachao-Beti Padhao (BBBP) scheme in the last five years (2015-16 to 2019-20).

Fourteen States, including Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Kerala, Haryana and Madhya Pradesh, have not utilised even half of the total allocation during this period.

The data presented by the Ministry of Women and Child Development (MWCD) to the Rajya Sabha in September 2019 show that north-eastern States have utilised the maximum funds under the scheme. Sikkim and Manipur have utilised 96 and 90 per cent, respectively, followed by Puducherry (84 per cent), Leh and Nagaland (82 per cent each).

BBBP, launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in January 2015 at Panipat, Haryana, addresses the declining child sex ratio and related issues of women empowerment over a lifecycle continuum.

 

Scope of scheme

It is a tri-ministerial effort of the Ministries of Women and Child Development, Health and Family Welfare and Human Resource Development. The key elements of the scheme include the enforcement of the PC and PNDT Act, and a nationwide awareness and advocacy campaign. BBBP’s emphasis is on changing mindsets through training, sensitisation, awareness-raising and community mobilisation on the ground.

However, government data suggest that the States have not shown much enthusiasm in implementing the scheme.

The data presented to the Lok Sabha last year for sex ratio at birth for the period of April 2019 to March 2020 show that out of 14 States which have spent less than 50 per cent of the allocated funds in the last five years, six have a lower sex ratio at birth compared to the national figure of 934.

Key parameter

Sex ratio at birth has been set as a parameter for monitoring the progress of this scheme. It has shown an improvement of 16 points at the national level from 918 in 2014-15 to 934 in 2019-20, the MWCD informed the Rajya Sabha.

The evaluation of the BBBP scheme, carried out by the National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER) last August, indicated a positive behavioural change towards the girl child.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, while presenting the 2020-21 Budget, said the scheme had yielded positive results. The gross enrolment ratio of girls across all levels of education is now higher than boys, she added. At the elementary level, it is 94.32 per cent for girls, against 89.28 per cent for boys. Similar trends in gross enrolment ratio are also observed at the secondary and higher secondary levels.

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Published on January 12, 2021
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